Search Baja California

HISTORY - Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla.

In late 1861 Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, under the Treaty of London (1861) sent troops to Mexico, alongside Spanish and English forces, to collect debts owed by a previous Mexican government. President Benito Juárez had announced the annulment of these debts, and vowed to pay nothing to European powers. Napoleon’s troops occupied the port city of Veracruz on December 8, 1861. Soon thereafter, the accompanying British and Spanish forces returned home, having established a truce with Mexico.

The Battle of Puebla took place on May 5, 1862, near the city of Puebla during the French intervention in Mexico. Under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín the battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army against the occupying French forces.

The Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862, was a single, important victory for the Mexican people over the occupying French Army.

The French Army at the time was led by General Charles de Lorencez. The battle came about by a misunderstanding of the French forces’ agreement to withdraw to the coast. When the Mexican people saw these French soldiers wandering about with rifles, they took it that hostilities had recommenced.

Cinco de Mayo is not "an obligatory federal holiday" in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily. While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States (also voluntarily) and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, which is September 16, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

Charge of the mexican calvary at the Battle of Puebla. Depictions of the battle showing Mexican cavalry taking over the French troops below the fort at Loreto. Courtesy of Mike Manning

4 comments:

  1. I would like to understand your statement of "with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico".
    For what I have seen and read in Spanish it has WIDE recognition as part of the history of Mexico.
    I have also seen the celebration of May 5th in at least 16 of the 31 states and it is not a small celebration.
    I would like to understand what you mean by limited recognition.

    Regards!

    C. Pratt

    ReplyDelete
  2. 16 of 31 is limited, 30 of 31 would even be limited. Yes it is widely recognized world-wide.

    Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth day of May") is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance and celebration nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed nationwide in the United States (especially at bars around the country) and other locations around the world, also in bars, as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. This is a directly from Wikipedia.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your comment. We do recognize the importance of the date, but as a fellow traveler of Mexico, I can say I do not see celebrations on that date in many locations I have been. We were in San Felipe Baja California on May 5th of this year and there was no signs of celebration.

    Here is another paragraph from About.com Mexico Travel:

    Cinco de Mayo Holiday in Mexico:
    The Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) holiday in Mexico does not have the same significance as it has in the United States. In the U.S. it is a celebration of Mexican culture, and sometimes mistaken for Mexican Independence Day. In Mexico, it is a commemoration of a battle which took place in Puebla in 1862, in which Mexican troops were triumphant over the French army. Find out why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the U.S. than it is in Mexico.

    http://gomexico.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/p/cinco_de_mayo.htm

    The above Wikipedia page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here is an article about why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the US than in Mexico:

    http://gomexico.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/f/cinco_de_mayo_us_mexico_question.htm

    I hope you find these articles helpful and they answer your question.

    ReplyDelete